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Ellsworth, Prescott prepare for upcoming MBC meet

Ellsworth

The Panthers were able to get in one meet in the second-to-last week of the regular cross country season. Ellsworth ran at the Black River Falls Invitational on Tuesday, Oct. 3 where they competed against teams such as Marshfield, Mauston, Durand and West Salem.

Head coach Marcie Jahnke thought her team ran exceptionally well on Skyline Golf Course, and referred to the course as "the hardest course we run all season."

"I especially love hilly courses," Jahnke said, "because they offer opportunities for strategic running that flat courses don't always have."

Ellsworth's boys team finished 10th of the 12 complete teams that ran on Tuesday, and put up a total of 230 team points. Marshfield boys claimed the meet win with 36 total points.

Roy Roberts led the way for the Panther boys, coming in at 39th with a time of 19:49.0. Roberts' time was less than 13 seconds slower than his time at Spring Valley, which is a much flatter course than Skyline.

Five runners crossed the finish line within the time of 20:09.0 and 20:10.0, including Addison Peters who came in with a time of 20:09.1, which earned him a 47th-place finish. Kyle Perkins also finished within that pack with a time of 20:09.4 and a 49th-place finish.

Matthew Williams finished in 55th-place with a time of 20:48.1, and Jack White ran a 21:32.0 for a 59th-place finish.

The Panthers worked with an impressive spread of only 1:43.

For the girls, Julia VanWatermeulen made her way to the front of the race per usual, and finished 15th out of 115 runners. VanWatermeulen crossed the finish line at 23:01.1 right behind Kayla McClain of Chippewa Valley.

Rachel Mancuso came in a little over 30 seconds behind VanWatermeulen with a time of 23:31.9, which gave her a 21st-place finish. CeCe Groh finished third for the Panthers and 23rd overall with a time of 23:42.3.

Sophie Vogel ran a 24:21.0 and placed 35th, and Feya Nelson game in behind her with a time of 24:30.0 (38th).

Having all top-five varsity runners place within the top-40 of the meet, and with a spread of less than one-and-a-half minutes, the Panther girls earned themselves a respectable fourth-place finish. The Panthers finished with 132 points, and the top team, Mauston, won the meet with 42 total points.

Jahnke's team is running well at an opportune point in the season. The Panthers will race against their Middle Border rivals 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12 at Prescott for the 2017 conference race.

Prescott

The Prescott Cardinals ran on a rather "soft" course, as head coach Steve Peterson put it, on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at the Amery High School Invitational. Peterson said his runners' times were a bit slow due to the course conditions, but that his team ran "pretty well" regardless. With second- and third-place team finishes, "pretty well" might be an understatement.

Senior Cody Hauenstein ran a 19:06 and finished sixth overall in the meet.

"Cody was finally back at full strength," Peterson said.

Dylan Rieken came in shortly behind Hauenstein with a time of 19:09, which sealed him an eighth-place finish. Tristan Winkler, who had been struggling through a cold, came in third for the Cardinals and 29th overall with a time of 20:34. Peterson hopes that he'll be healthy for the conference meet on Oct. 12.

Ben Barksdale ran a 21:27 (41), and Josh Dickey came in right behind him with a time of 21:29 (42).

The Cardinals finished second on the boys' side with a total of 126 team points and a spread of 2:23.

Marshfield claimed the boys' title with all five of their varsity runners finishing in the top-14 spots. The Tigers won the meet with a whopping 47 team points.

Prescott's girls team showed off an impressively low spread of 1:13 at Amery, and Peterson was impressed with the depth from the Cardinal girls.

Kjerstin Carlson finished ninth overall with a time of 23:52, and Mari Sommer followed her lead coming in at 23:56 for a 10th-place finish.

"Kjerstin and Mari have been a nice 1-2 punch," Peterson said.

Kira Penk came in at 24:08 for a 17th-place finish, and Peterson said that Penk's performance was another testament that she is a legit runner.

Hayley Hillman ran a 24:33 (23), and Megan Giles finished 30th with a time of 25:05.

The Cardinal girls came in third place as a team with 89 total points. Osceola won the meet on the girls' side with 37 team points.

Peterson and his runners are excited to host the Middle Border Conference meet on Thursday, Oct. 12.

"We've been working hard all season to build up to these next three weeks," Peterson said. "Hopefully we can run strong and be confident."

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